New Bike Adventure - Specialized AWOL Comp

Last year, I spent a lot of time mountain biking around the Cascades on my Transition Covert 27.5, and while it’s still a ton of fun, I’ve also found myself wanting to venture further afield, in search of more extended trips on the many rarely traveled gravel roads of the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to her Transition Bandit 27.5, my wife also rides a Salsa Vaya 2, and initially I was sure that’s what I also wanted, until I came across the Specialized AWOL Comp. After a test ride at Gregg’s Greenlake Cycles, I ended up purchasing one in a size L.

Inspired by some of the other AWOL owners around the world, I ended up adding some accessories to the stock build:

  • Dynamo Hub
  • Supernova S3 front light
  • Supernova rear light
  • Supernova The Plug
  • Pass & Stow porteur rack

I purchased the Supernova components and the dynamo hub from Peter White Cycles, and Linda there was super helpful in walking me throught the various connectors, mounts, and wiring I’d need.

Pass & Stow is run by a guy in the Bay area called Matt Feeney, and his hand built racks are in demand, with an 8 week lead time. However, he was nothing but super helpful and friendly, and ended up shipping my rack to me in 4 weeks - gotta love those that under promise and over deliver! Aside from the attraction of a locally built rack, one of the main reasons I opted for Pass & Stow is that the wiring can run inside the rack itself.

Lastly, I had Mike from Sprockett’s Cycles in Magnolia rebuild the stock AWOL wheel with the dynamo hub installed and the other accessories mounted. I can’t say enough good things about him. If you live in the Queen Anne / Magnolia area of Seattle, definitely consider him for servicing your bike. He also sells recycled and new bikes…

While I’ve owned my bike for more than a month now and probably ridden around 300 or so miles already, I’ve only ridden the newly outfitted version back and forth on my 5 mile commute ride to work, but am already plotting a multi-day trip to put the AWOL Comp through its paces. Trip report to follow!

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